Lyft is what’s known as a transportation network company (TNC). It’s based on an app, and Lyft customers need only use that app to arrange for a ride anywhere around town. Lyft is generally more convenient and less expensive than using a conventional taxi cab.
What comes to issue when using Lyft is whether a person can file a lawsuit against Lyft after being injured by one of its drivers. Lyft’s contract with a driver specifically provides that the driver is an independent contractor. That agreement operates to shield Lyft from liability in the event of an accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of a Lyft driver.
Lyft wasn’t driving the car that injured a victim, and it didn’t have any control over the route that the driver was taking. The lawsuit will generally come against the insurance company for the driver(s) who caused the accident.
When Can Lyft be Sued?
Special insurance regulations govern Lyft in California. If a Lyft driver isn’t logged into the app and causes an accident with personal injuries, the lawsuit would be handled through that driver’s personal insurance. Unfortunately, in California, he or she is only required to be covered by $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of liability insurance for personal injury. If the driver is logged into the app and is without a customer, Lyft’s liability insurance covers him or her at $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence.
As soon as the driver accepts a ride request though, $1 million of Lyft’s coverage is triggered from the time that the driver accepts the customer to the time that the customer leaves the vehicle at their destination. That’s plenty of coverage for most injuries. If a Lyft driver caused catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, it’s likely that $1 million isn’t enough though. You’ll be in need of a talented, aggressive, and thorough California Lyft accident lawyer who will explore all possibilities of exceeding a $1 million settlement or award.
Other Causes of Action
Regardless of any agreements between Lyft and its drivers, there are other causes of action that might arise in the context of Lyft bringing on a driver. For example, Lyft purports to perform background checks on drivers before they’re allowed to associate with the TNC. A driver with a revoked or suspended license for DUIs who is allowed to drive customers presents a danger to them, as would a driver with one or more sexual assault convictions. Either one of these circumstances coupled with an accident or attack might be a strong basis for a lawsuit directly against Lyft.
Contact a California Lyft Accident Lawyer Today
In either case, you’ll be required to file a complicated lawsuit, issue a summons and have the registered agent for Lyft served with it. Every phase of an actual lawsuit can quickly become a procedural quagmire. Don’t even try to approach it alone. That’s exactly how Lyft’s insurer wants you to proceed. Contact us instead and you can arrange for a free consultation and case review. We want to see you receive the maximum settlement or award that you deserve.